Looking to buy .357 what are my options.

Forums Big Bore Airguns Looking to buy .357 what are my options.

  • Views : 1043
  • Link

    YamahaR1
    Participant
    Member

    Ok, so I'm wanting to get a real big bore air rifle.  I love my .30 cals the most but would like that heavy hitter from time to time plus it's a good one to add to the collection. What I'm looking for is

    1. Regulated

    2. Option to shoot pellet or slug without barrel switch. 

    3. Magazine fed

    4. No wood stock!

    5. 2k-3k budget. 

     

    Those are the important options i seek, I just want to see if you guys know of upcoming air rifles or ones in production now. (Make sure I don't leave any options on the table). Now I know the .357 WAR Flex fits all this, but I really want to look at all possibilities. Thanks in advance guys. 

    Link

    wyshadow
    Participant
    Member

    Slayer

    Link

    ackuric
    Participant
    Member

    No experience here but if I were in the market I'd look into a Slayer personally. Or a Texan worked over by Doug.

    Link

    drumie
    Participant
    Member

    The Slayer is out if you want to shoot pellets.  They don't shoot them well at all.  Maybe if you turned down the power it would. I know because I have one and it hates pellets.  The closest thing that covers all your wants is the Ataman. 

    Link

    Prouzy
    Participant
    Member

    Not too many options, given the magazine fed requirement.   To shift from pellets to slugs may also require some fine tuning, so you need to have that ability, unless you plan on shooting really light slugs.  Slayer and Bulldog, that really have the power, but the Slayer is not really meant to shoot pellets from all the reviews and Toms discussions, not to mention its out of the box tune.  The Hammer .50 will be a 2 shot mag, and given your budget maybe a conversion to .357??

    How much power you looking for?  When I think "heavy hitter" in a slug shooter, its much more than pellet shooters but maybe that is what you are considering.  In that case, I would also have a look at Ataman and Evanix.  Evanix has a lot of room to make a .357 with even more power, and historically do well with some slugs even though considered  pellet shooters.  

    Link

    frank320
    Participant
    Member

    I was in the same dilemma 2 years ago. In my opinion, your options are Slayer, W.A.R Flex or Ataman.  I ended up with a regulated 357 W.A.R Flex with Cothran valve. We loved it so much i ordered another barrel from Jim and a non-regulated bottle block for shooting high power unregulated. I can paper punch with pellets or switch to high FPE slug poundings in less than 3 mins.

    The Flex is so well built. I have had my fair share of guns, including most recently an FX Impact X 700mm in both 25 and 30 cal barrels. As an example, with the FX Impact, one can feel that it is not built to push the cal 30 pellets in high FPE. But when you shoot the Flex, it is built like a mil-spec AR and is built so solidly. It literally stacks 81gr JSB/Polymags and also the Morrill 97.5 gr pellets at 35 yards. Order an unchoked barrel and you can shoot both pellets and slugs throughout any FPE range with the Flex.

    When it comes to big bore, I love high power. With the Flex, I never feel like I am pushing it anywhere close to its limits. The Slayer is similar, but I can't get used to the way it looks. The Flex lives up to its name, hard to go wrong with it, especially if you want more flexibility with the rifle.

    One can tell which gun is one's favorite by this measure: On which gun is his best and most expensive scope currently mounted on? 

    You guessed it, my Flex 357.

    Link

    Brian.in.MI
    Participant
    Member

    Other than being non-regulated, Slayer .357 is your best bet, given your fat budget. Contrary to what people may think, it CAN shoot the 81 grain .35 pellets. Plus, NSA has slugs from 75 grain and up. The way to approach this (IMO) would be to slightly de-tune, and make the pellets happier and then stay on the light end of the spectrum with NSA slugs.

    Now the cool part!! A lot of you have seen this picture of Tom. What you don’t know is that he’s shooting 81 grain pellets in a .357 Slayer! It was an experiment. Moments after this pic was taken, I witnessed him connect with a ground squirrel at 228 yards. 

     

     

    The pellets were good for about 140 fpe. I don’t think he was ecstatic with the pellets compared to slugs, but that’s apples / oranges, especially in that setting where the closest targets were 90 yards away. It did, however show that there’s potential there. 

    So anyway, don’t rule out the Slayer! Yay, +1 green 4me, haha

    Brian

     

    Link

    YamahaR1
    Participant
    Member

    Well I guess I should have put adjustable regulator. Being capable of shooting slugs and pellets is what I'm looking for without a barrel change. I know the flex can do both because Jim puts a barrel that has no choke and told me it shoots pellets and slugs. But did say the pellets are more accurate which is to be exspected anyways.  The gun gets 15-16 shots with pellets at 900fps then he is able to get up to  200fpe with slugs using the regulator. Obviously shot count is much lower and power is limited due to regulator while shooting slugs. I just like the ability to switch between the two by adjusting the reg. 

    Now I know the slayer makes big power but isnt regulated and sounds like it can shoot pellets? Plus I've tried to buy from AAA before and getting any questions answered has been non existent with emails and phone calls. I know they have quality air rifles but I'm not going to beg to buy a product!

    So the WAR flex fits what I'm after, but I'm just really looking to explore all my options which is important to me. Think that's the one thing I like the most about this hobby is there are a lot of quality air rifles these days that can be had. 

    Link

    Brian.in.MI
    Participant
    Member

    Another option that just popped into my head is a Kalibrgun 9mm. I’ve never had one in my hands (but would love to) but it’s an interesting thought. I have a couple of Kalibrgun rifles I like a lot, so no issues with quality. I don’t imagine it being a huge power rig, guessing 120 fpe (?) If it’s regulated, it’ll check all the boxes.

    I’ve never owned a WAR Flex, but know someone with 2 of them, and I believe he has mixed emotions. Strikes me as sort of a Frankenstein gun. 

    Hope this helps(?)

    Brian

    Link

    wyshadow
    Participant
    Member

    I won't suggest the 9mm cricket. It's accurate but low on power. With such a low fps with pellets, you'll have a big pellet drop which makes it hard to hit your target when you don't know how far your target will be and having to range your target in seconds.

    Link

    Brian.in.MI
    Participant
    Member

    wyshadow

    I won't suggest the 9mm cricket. It's accurate but low on power. With such a low fps with pellets, you'll have a big pellet drop which makes it hard to hit your target when you don't know how far your target will be and having to range your target in seconds.

    Wondered about that, and thought there could be a work-around. Possibly a power tune by Charlie, Ernest (long shot) or Derrick Wall(?) Thinkin’ out loud here 👍

    Link

    Bullfrog
    Participant
    Member

    I’ve never owned a WAR Flex, but know someone with 2 of them, and I believe he has mixed emotions. Strikes me as sort of a Frankenstein gun. 

    That would be me. I have a .300 Flex with a 17 inch barrel and Cobra valve, then I have a .300 Flex with a 24 inch barrel and a Cothran valve. Both guns are regulated and magazine fed. They each have amazingly effective DonnyFLs on them. The short Flex has a Shogun, the long Flex has an Emperor v1. 

    I commissioned the long Flex to be a deer hunter for Florida's first airgun deer season this season. I had a couple of major frustrations with the long Flex because first, the valve stem broke a couple of weeks before hunting season started. WAR had me send the valve to Don Cothran, who fixed it right up for me and sent it back quickly. He also gave me a call and was a very fun fellow to talk to. My second frustration though was when I received the gun back, I decided to try it unregulated. The gun's air tank is rated for 4500psi, but unknown to me the plenum/air tube is only rated for 3600psi. I filled it to 4100 and it instantly pressed on the valve retention screws and made them give a bit in the tube. I got very upset about that. In the three or so years I've been shooting my short Flex, I never read anything that indicated that the tube itself couldn't take pressures above 3600psi, especially where the air tank is 4500psi. Jim at WAR sent me a new tube and I got the gun fixed, but I was upset for a while about it. So upset that I considered selling both my Flexes and briefly listed them. 

    But I didn't sell them. Simply because I cannot deny, they shoot so darn well. I'm playing with my short Flex today in fact with some 45 grain pellets I've cast from a new NOE mold. 

    So if you want to run one unregulated, you can't run it above 3600psi. If you want to run one regulated, you can fill the bottle up higher. There appears to be a burst disk on regulator that should protect the air tube from a dump from the regulator. I never knew what the burst disk was on the regulator until the burst disk on my Yong Heng burst a few weeks ago. 

    I'm about to run a shot string on the long Flex. I've had chrony troubles where my chrony has been reading low on all my guns. So I need to reshoot them to adjust my numbers. I'll post my string in a bit

     

    Link

    shamu
    Participant
    Member

    Brian,  Is there any more details that you can share about  Tom shooting pellets in his slayer? Wondering about skirt  And head size. I have a slayer 357 and did not realize the possibility of using pellets.  I noticed that the  NOE mold Drops pellets   At  . 356 and don't think that would work in my slayer.Tom currently has my slayer and doing some tweaking. When I get it back I may experiment with pellets. Thanks ray from Michigan

    Link

    Bullfrog
    Participant
    Member

    Today I got 21 shots from 4000psi to the regulation set pressure of 2400psi. Average velocity was 980fps with 60 grain Bob's Boattails I cast from an NOE mold. As you can see, my set pressure is pretty low for the power I'm making. The regulator can go up to 3000psi. Prior to getting the valve fixed, I could only do about 930fps at a 3000psi set pressure. Now I can do that same pressure at a low setting, so there's plenty of room to raise the FPE if I wanted to. I think the first valve stem was already failing out of the box. Don estimated that with the 24 inch barrel (which I have), the gun probably has a power potential of 200fpe give or take. As my .308 Texan SS takes care of the upper portion of my power needs, I see to reason to run the long Flex higher. 

    I do believe that a .357 Flex would pretty much have the same internals, just perhaps with a larger transfer port. 

    Link

    spysir
    Participant
    Member

    " The gun's air tank is rated for 4500psi, but unknown to me the plenum/air tube is only rated for 3600psi. I filled it to 4100 and it instantly pressed on the valve retention screws and made them give a bit in the tube "

     

     On real safety standards I only know what I read and that can be confusing if wanting to push the limits ( I never had such desire ).

    What exactly "gave a bit" ? The pin or screw retaining the valve or the tube itself ? ( or ? )

     The way I read it something used has a much lower rating than any crosman, and much more like a Co2 rated tube.  I cant be the only one interested in hearing exactly what gave a bit and exactly what the factory says the safety margin built into their rifles is.   Burst disc's are an industry standard and a safety "aid"  but not as an absolute in calculating design safety.  With the correct reg & dust disc's on my QB it "should" be safe enough to install  & fill a 4,500psi tank. More than one thing would have to fail before catastrophic failure but I'm not planing on going there.  

     I am sure I';m just missing something here, that does happen.

     

    John

    Link

    Bullfrog
    Participant
    Member

    It was the tube itself that gave. The tube let the valve retention screws and thus the whole valve move backwards. I realized it when I was trying to troubleshoot why the transfer port wouldn't seat under pressure. It was because the valve had slid backwards a slither. I was then able to see where the screws had dug into the tube and I was able to push the valve back in place after depressurization. 

    The impression I have is that the Flex's tube is basically the same as a Marauder's tube, and possibly is a Marauder tube cut down. At least that's what my long Flex's tube may be. My short Flex was one of the early production guns and its tube seems to be significantly heavier. The long Flex is a newer production gun and its tube is lighter, leading to the gun feeling overall lighter in the hand. If you put my short Flex tube against a Marauder tube, I would be able to tell them apart because the short Flex's tube is thicker looking. If you were to put a newer Flex tube against a Marauder tube, I could not tell them apart (aside from the fact the Flex's tube is shorter and has some extra holes). 4000psi is about where a Marauder tube starts to fail as well based on what experiments I've seen documented. Therefore it is possible, although I do not know for sure, that current production Flexes begin life as a Marauder tube and then the gun is built around it. 

    Link

    Bullfrog
    Participant
    Member

    It is also possible that whatever broke the valve stem (it was broke in 2 places), may have been the event that also jolted the whole valve and the tube may have failed before I noticed it. Prior to me removing and replacing the valve, I had not ever had the gun apart. One of the few guns I had owned up to that point that I had never taken apart out of curiosity or out of a desire to tweak or mod. The gun was not made brand new for me. It was one that WAR had shown at trade shows. There may have been some sort of occurrence that jolted the whole valve, like dieseling, and that's what moved the valve back and also shattered the stem. But because of how the Cothran power valve is built, it was able to stay somewhat functional even with a shattered stem. In fact, it appeared functional even after I confirmed the broken stem and had the valve apart. The primary symptoms of the broken stem was slowly leaking air and a machine gun like hammer bounce every so many shots. 

    Link

    Brian.in.MI
    Participant
    Member

    shamu

    Brian,  Is there any more details that you can share about  Tom shooting pellets in his slayer? Wondering about skirt  And head size. I have a slayer 357 and did not realize the possibility of using pellets.  I noticed that the  NOE mold Drops pellets   At  . 356 and don't think that would work in my slayer.Tom currently has my slayer and doing some tweaking. When I get it back I may experiment with pellets. Thanks ray from Michigan

    Hi Ray (from Michigan!)

    That .357 was experimental in that it was REGULATED. He was shooting 81gn JSB. As for the adjustment range, I couldn’t say. It would be sweet to dial up and down from plinker to beast mode, but the reality is probably another story. Slayers are born in beast mode and anything else is Tom’s least favorite  “C word” (compromise) Good luck! 😂

    Brian

    Link

    Kinetic45
    Participant
    Member

    While waiting for my custom FLEX+ in .357 to be developed (Cothran valve max opened, titanium tube 2" longer for longer plenum and higher FPE, custom barrel retention system Jim tells me he really likes after he built it to my specs. 20" twist Green Mountain barrel turned down instead of a TJ)… I bought a Pitbull "Mega" which is an opened up Bulldog with built on moderator.

    Factory porting is .201 (#7 drill size) and Pitbull opens that up to .302 which is an increase of 80%.

    I have shot it at 50 and 100 yards with slugs ranging from 94 gr to 155gr  and I was impressed with the accuracy of several of the slugs.

    I have chronyed 8 bullets and am posting on Gateway later today.

     

    I also have a WAR WARP .25 which is a actual, real tack driver and with JSB 33.95 I can get .35 (smaller tha 3/8 with fliers but mostly one hole 8 shots) groups at 50 yards all day, every day so I am really looking forward to my FLEX+.  That being said the breach opening on the WAR airguns uses the Marauder magazine which are 'cheap' and plentiful but limits slug length, so longer heavier slugs you are limited to single loading.  The Ataman also has a limited magazine length (and it's VERY, VERY EXPENSIVE for spares which is why I passed!) but a much longer breach opening than Marauder based guns.

    The Bulldog breach is much longer and the magazine is correspondingly larger so you can shoot fairly heavy (for air rifles) slugs from it or single load.

    Link

    Bullfrog
    Participant
    Member

    Kinetic45

    While waiting for my custom FLEX+ in .357 to be developed (Cothran valve max opened, titanium tube 2" longer for longer plenum and higher FPE, custom barrel retention system Jim tells me he really likes after he built it to my specs. 20" twist Green Mountain barrel turned down instead of a TJ)… I bought a Pitbull "Mega" which is an opened up Bulldog with built on moderator.

    Factory porting is .201 (#7 drill size) and Pitbull opens that up to .302 which is an increase of 80%.

    I have shot it at 50 and 100 yards with slugs ranging from 94 gr to 155gr  and I was impressed with the accuracy of several of the slugs.

    I have chronyed 8 bullets and am posting on Gateway later today.

     

    I also have a WAR WARP .25 which is a actual, real tack driver and with JSB 33.95 I can get .35 (smaller tha 3/8 with fliers but mostly one hole 8 shots) groups at 50 yards all day, every day so I am really looking forward to my FLEX+.  That being said the breach opening on the WAR airguns uses the Marauder magazine which are 'cheap' and plentiful but limits slug length, so longer heavier slugs you are limited to single loading.  The Ataman also has a limited magazine length (and it's VERY, VERY EXPENSIVE for spares which is why I passed!) but a much longer breach opening than Marauder based guns.

    The Bulldog breach is much longer and the magazine is correspondingly larger so you can shoot fairly heavy (for air rifles) slugs from it or single load.

    I think a titanium tube is exactly what the WAR guns need. It would have solved my problem with what happens when the tube gets overfilled, and it would make the guns so much lighter. Also, I think a better magazine that the Mrod magazine would make a big difference. The tube and the magazine make the gun superficially appear like its a souped up Marauder, when in reality everything on and in the gun is custom or aftermarket except the magazine and *possibly* the default airtube. 

    I would also be tempted to suggest a lever action instead of a bolt. However, I still dig the way the WAR bolt pushes the pellet forward of the transfer port and comes to rest directly behind the transfer port. 

Viewing 20 posts - 1 through 20 (of 40 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.